Howl! Still Censored After All These Years

howl.gif Irony lives:
Fifty years ago today, a San Francisco Municipal Court judge ruled that Allen Ginsberg’s Beat-era poem “Howl” was not obscene. Yet today, a New York public broadcasting station decided not to air the poem, fearing that the Federal Communications Commission will find it indecent and crush the network with crippling fines.

‘Howl’ too hot to hear, 50 years after poem ruled not obscene, radio fears to air it, Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer, Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Personally, I think by focussing on the “dirty words” ( some of which FCC Chairman Martin himself used recently on the FCC’s own web pages) the FCC misses (or suppresses) the more currently-applicable parts of the poem, for example:
and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but
sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden
threads of the craftsman’s loom,

who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hyp
notism & were left with their insanity & their
hands & a hung jury,

Anne Waldman and Allen Ginsberg reading, including Howl, Internet Archive, (August 9, 1975)

The FCC also finds time to approve more media mergers, to water down open access provisions for 700Mhz bandwidth, and to leak information to lobbyists. Maybe it should be called the Less Communication Commission.